Eating breakfast is associated with weight loss during an intensive lifestyle intervention for overweight/obesity

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2022 Feb;30(2):378-388. doi: 10.1002/oby.23340. Epub 2022 Jan 20.


Objective: This study examined whether breakfast consumption frequency (BCF) is associated with weight-loss outcomes in the Look AHEAD (Action for Health in Diabetes) trial.

Methods: Data from a subset of participants (n = 3,915) from Look AHEAD, a randomized trial comparing intensive lifestyle intervention (ILI) to diabetes support and education (DSE) in adults with overweight/obesity and type 2 diabetes, were analyzed. BCF was collected by yearly questionnaire. Multivariable linear regression models were used to estimate the association between average BCF and percentage weight change over 4 years, controlling for baseline sociodemographic, anthropometric, and diabetes-related variables. In separate models, adjustment for diet (n = 915) and physical activity level (n = 837) was performed in a subset of participants.

Results: Four-year average BCF was similar in DSE (n = 1,916) and ILI (n = 1,999) arms (p = 0.14). Each 1-day higher average BCF was associated with an additional 0.5% weight loss in the ILI arm (p < 0.0001) but not in the DSE arm (p = 0.58). This association in the ILI arm remained significant after adjustment for diet (p = 0.02) but not after adjustment for physical activity (p = 0.36).

Conclusions: Breakfast consumption was associated with greater weight loss in the active treatment group of an ILI, which may be mediated by increased physical activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breakfast
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / therapy
  • Overweight* / complications
  • Overweight* / therapy
  • Weight Loss